Neighbourly Disputes

How To Approach Neighbourly Disputes | Middletons Solicitors

When you move into a house you are never sure of the type of neighbour you are going to get. Most people get on with their neighbours, but there are times when relations can be strained. This can be for any number of reasons, such as on street parking, boundaries, repairs to shared amenities or problems with noise.
Hopefully the issues can be ironed out and you can continue to live in peace with your neighbour. Sometimes though, this does not happen and a small disagreement about an issue can escalate into something much bigger. So how should you approach a disagreement with your neighbour?

In the interests of trying to improve relations with your neighbour and trying to resolve the issue early on, you should talk to them about the problem or perhaps write them a letter. If there are a number of people in your neighbourhood who are affected, you could all join together to try to explain how your neighbour’s behaviour is affecting them. This may help to bring an end to the dispute, or it could add fuel to the fire, but you do need to inform your neighbour about the issues.

If you live in rented accommodation or a council property, your next stop would be your landlord and equally if the neighbour causing the problem is a tenant, then you should contact their landlord. You will need to find out who their landlord is and this can be problematic, particularly if they are a private landlord.

There is a service called mediation which is there to help resolve disputes without the need to go to court. A trained mediator will ask both parties to talk about the problems they are facing and once they have heard both sides, they will make a decision based on what they have heard. Whilst the setup is similar to a court, it should be faster and cheaper than going to court.

There are drawbacks though – you have to have both parties agree to attend mediation and the decision may not be legally binding.

Finally, when all else has failed you may need to instruct a solicitor and take your neighbour to court. As a starting point, you could try sending a solicitor’s letter as the threat of action may be enough. If not, you will have to proceed to court and allow a judge to decide on your case. Talk to a specialist disputes and litigation solicitor to ensure you get the best advice on your particular situation before you decide how to proceed.

For more information about this article or any aspect of our disputes and litigation services, please call Chris Jolly in our Westbury office on 01373 865577, or email cjolly@mulaw.co.uk and we will be delighted to help you (there is no charge for initial telephone discussions).